What Should I Do If My Puppy Has Hiccups?

Labrador holding a glass of water to cure its hiccups

It is the worst feeling in the world. You are all snuggled up on the sofa with your new pup pal on your lap, this is everything you imagined getting a dog would be like. The adverts roll around and suddenly your pup is on all paws, ears back and shuddering. This isn’t the typical shakes (chihuahua parents know that wiggle all too well), it’s like their whole body is moving as one, but it’s more rhythmic and downright odd.

What’s going on, I hear your ask. Well, your pup may be having the hiccups!

It doesn’t feel possible but yes, pups can also get the hiccups too. They have a diaphragm nestled happily beneath their lungs, just like we do, and it can sometimes spasm which causes them to hiccup. This can happen for a number of reasons (overexcited, eaten too much/too quickly, tired) and is completely normal, although it can be a little shocking the first time you see it.

We all know that feeling of the hiccups and it can be a little uncomfortable for your pet pal, so here are a few ways you can help them out:

  1. Rub their tummy.
    I know, it’s a hard life as a pup parent sometimes, isn’t it! Truly, giving your pup a little tummy rub (circular motions anti-clockwise work best for Beans) near where their belly button is will really help. It’ll also help distract them and get them to settle down a little.
  2. Get them moving, gently.
    Getting them moving around gently (a little trot around your living space would work perfectly) will help get the diaphragm moving and grooving just as it should. If your pup got the hiccups from being overexcited, a little gentle movement may be a good idea to help them calm down a little, though if they are super energised, maybe try the first suggestion!
  3. Let them sip a little water.
    This also works for Beans super well. Grab your pup a little water (if your pup is like mine, grabbing them one of your glasses is a sure-fire way to make sure they drink) and let them take a couple of slurps. Just like humans, the water can help settle the spasms.

If your pup seems to be in quite a bit of pain, the hiccupping is accompanied by other symptoms (vomiting, diarrhoea, doesn’t seem to be stopping for at least a few hours, they won’t sip water or have a treat) then do contact your vet. Remember, your vet loves pups as much as you do and they welcome any worries, questions or concerns you might have.

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